Chris Brown’s ‘Con Air’ trip to L.A. ends; lawyer to argue for freedom
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Chris Brown’s cross-country trip from Washington to Los Angeles ended Thursday, just in time for his lawyer to make the case at a new hearing for his freedom.
Brown, who turns 25 next Monday, spent most of the past week on “Con Air,” the nickname for the federal government’s inmate transport system, following a delay in the start of his trial on a misdemeanor assault charge in Washington.
U.S. Marshals, who took Brown from the Los Angeles County jail for extradition to Washington four weeks ago, were scheduled to hand Brown back to Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies Thursday, according to Deputy U.S. Marshal Laura Vegas.
A Los Angeles judge will hold a hearing concerning the revocation of Brown’s probation for the 2009 beating of ex-girlfriend Rihanna Fenty. It is another chance for lawyer Mark Geragos to argue that Brown has been punished enough by spending the past six weeks in custody and previous five months in court-ordered rehab.
The prosecutor said last week that she would “strenuously object” to Brown being released because it appears likely Brown will be found guilty of the assault charge in Washington. Assistant District Attorney Mary Murray argued the only change since Brown was jailed in March is that his case has “gotten worse.” The Washington judge who found his bodyguard guilty in the assault case also concluded that Brown was “the initial aggressor” in the incident, Murray said.
A Los Angeles judge refused a request last week to free the singer from custody so he could make his own way back from Washington.
He and bodyguard Christopher Hollosy were arrested on assault charges in Washington for allegedly beating a man who tried to take a photo of Brown last October.
The arrest led to a revocation of Brown’s probation, but he was allowed to enter a rehab program instead of going to jail. He was ordered to jail last month when he was kicked out of the rehab program for rules violations.
“I think it’s a little over the top to have him in custody on this misdemeanor when everybody saw the bodyguard’s trial and which was nothing more than a bloody nose,” Brown lawyer Mark Geragos told reporters in Washington last week. “And you have got the bodyguard who was convicted and who readily admitted he was the one who did the punching. So all of this is much ado about nothing.”
The delay in Brown’s Washington trial came after prosecutors refused to grant immunity to Hollosy so he could testify without jeopardizing his own case. On Monday, Hollosy was found guilty of assaulting a man on a Washington sidewalk before Brown’s trial was to begin in the case.
The prosecutors cited Hollosy’s refusal to talk to them about his testimony as a major reason for the decision not to grant immunity. Their motion also said they suspected he might lie in his testimony to help Brown.
By Alan Duke, CNN
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